Ruff Life: Should You Worry About Your Puppy's Hiccups? - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ruff Life: Should You Worry About Your Puppy's Hiccups?

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NBC News - Nothing's as peaceful as watching a sleeping puppy's rhythmic breathing and soft sighs — until the hiccups start. 

If you're a first-time pet owner, seeing your pup's tiny body jerk with every hiccup can be a little alarming. But relax, they are as normal for your puppy as they are for you. 

Hiccups are simply uncontrollable spasms that contract the diaphragm muscle causing your pup to begin to breathe in. 

Suddenly, the glottis (a part of your dog's voice box) closes, stopping the intake of air. And out comes a hiccup (or two or three). 

Dogs generally get them from the air they swallow when they eat or drink too fast, but stress, fatigue and excitement can also bring on a bout. 

Some experts believe the harmless spasms can actually help your puppy relieve stomach gas or irritation. 

By the same token, reverse hiccups — or when your dog takes a series of loud, involuntary breaths — could be his or her way of clearing out their sinuses. 

Bottom line? Hiccuping is harmless, maybe even helpful. They will come and go for a while, but eventually, your puppy will outgrow them.

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